I’m a firm believer that “house” does not equal “home”. It’s probably due to a combination of factors. My childhood house was never completely finished; my father built it, but never had enough money to finish it. The eaves were never filled in, and there were walls and doors missing throughout. Consequently, although my family lived there for my entire life until I moved to New Orleans, it felt a little like squatting. It’s tough to explain the nuances, but it was never comfortable; I was always scared there, and hated being there alone. After I moved away, the house was demolished. Somehow the empty plot of land scares me even more.
During college, I moved to a different apartment every year. The place was always different, but my roommates, two of my best friends, were always the same. They became my home (and still are, even though they’re both so far away – one in Texas, the other in Croatia). After college, they both moved away, and I was on my own again. It took a couple of years, but eventually I found a sweet little half of a double shotgun house that I felt could possibly be a settling-down place. A couple of months later, I lost both the apartment and everything I owned when Hurricane Katrina hit. At first it was devastating, but eventually I realized how freeing it is to not have such strong emotional attachment to physical goods. In years since, I’ve downsized a couple more times; my cats, computer, a few important books, and old photos are all I really need to get by.
When I was a kid, since I hated being inside my house, I spent most of my summers hanging out in a tent in the yard, reading what felt like endless stacks of books. I devoured books as a kid, but horror, fantasy, and historical fiction were my faves – as long as they had cute boys and/or dragons, I was good to go. The Chronicles of Prydain and the Anne of Green Gables series were summertime must-reads; I read both series every summer from 11 to 17, and still remember how it felt to yearn (pretty much equally) for the affection of Princess Eilonwy and Gilbert Blythe. I wonder what it would have been like if they’d met?
Is it any wonder that this built-in need for magic and romance led me to a love of medieval art history? Of course, the magic of it all was beaten out of me pretty early in undergrad, but I’ll never get over the romance. I think that every day on my pilgrimage is going to have at least a touch of that wonder built in. What it won’t have, however, is homesickness. When you don’t equate the feeling of “home” with a place, it’s hard to dwell (ha!) on thoughts of somewhere that you aren’t. I do worry that I won’t have the ability (read: available technology) on the road to write as much as I’d like, though, and that bothers me a bit.
The one time I’m “me” lately is when I’m writing. In my day-to-day, I’m having kind of a tough go of it. It’s hard to explain; life probably looks peachy from the outside, but it’s kind of a dim time for me – hence the decision to get the hell out of dodge and cross the Pyrenees while I’m at it. I spend my days so tightly wound, dancing on the edge of my breaking point. Most people don’t see this about me. I’m a Scorpio; we’re built to naturally insulate our feelings. It’s probably why a lot of us end up becoming emotional time bombs. Over the years I’ve learned the hard way that even when I think I’m broadcasting loud and clear, other people tend to find me inscrutable. I let loose steam on my blogs, and every now and then in conversation with a trusted friend. Mostly, though, it’s the writing that gets me through.
Lots of people write on the road, but it seems most are doing it the old fashioned way, with pen and paper. Some books that I’ve read were sketched out on cell phones and tablets, and I know that it’s possible to find a place to power up your tech gear in many alburgues. The worst bit is the extra weight. I’ll hate to add more to my pack load, but I need to capture my thoughts. I’m not quick at physically penning words; a keyboard or voice recorder will be necessary. I’ll most likely be using an iPad mini with an attached keyboard, or maybe a cheaper tablet – I’m not sure on that just yet. It will have to be light, and I’ll probably have to give up some other comfort (like extra socks, or shampoo, or what-have-you) to bring it along. But it will be worth it.
Once the writing is taken care of, the only other issue I’ll have to take care of to feel really at home on the road is to make some friends. That shouldn’t be too hard – a bottle of wine and a great story or two go a long way when you’re all new to a place. I find myself hoping that maybe out there on The Camino, I’ll meet new family, and I’ll be able to extend my feeling of “home” to other corners of the globe. Soon, I’ll be at home in Australia, maybe, or perhaps Belgium. Maybe some of my eventual home team are from Wales, or Italy, or Slovakia. Who knows? I’m excited to find out.
Trackbacks & Pingbacks
- New iPod | Crazy Markovich
- of raging wants | Anawnimiss
- Daily Prompt: Our House- The impact of family to our psychological mind | Journeyman
- Streaks in the Darkness | Exploratorius
- Home: Tankas | 365 days of defiance
- To London For Love & The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
- Daily Prompt: Our House | Under the Monkey Tree
- Cumbraes, 1962 | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
- Launching Pad | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
- Daily Prompt: Home | The Wandering Poet
- evergreen | yi-ching lin photography
- My family are huggers, and it’s always been an awesome part of life. | thoughtsofrkh
- Daily Prompt: House | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
- Daily Prompt: Our House | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
- Short Plat – A Short Story | Kilbo – Chris Kilbourn
- The House in Middelburg. | Hope* the happy hugger
- BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE | SERENDIPITY
- Home, Sweet Home | Home’s Cool!
- Daily Prompt: Our House « Mama Bear Musings
- The Gray House | A Sign Of Life
- Childhood Memories of Home | Unload and Unwind
- Home | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- 272. My Childhood Home | Barely Right of Center
- Children Must Be Seen And Not Heard | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
- My Childhood Home | A mom’s blog
- Chained Childhood… | Haiku By Ku
- Minutely Infinite | Is home where the heart is?
- House of Haiku | Finale to an Entrance
- An Ode Full of Home | L5GN
- Formerly known as home | Le Drake Noir
- The rising of the Sap Nymph: an erotic poem | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
- The family home | Sue’s Trifles
- Daily Prompt: Our House | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- A Trip Down Memory Lane | Views Splash!
- DP Daily Prompt: Our House | Sabethville
- DP: OUR HOME | Active Army Wife
- Daily Prompt: Our House | Rolbos ©
- Daily Prompt reply…3/3/14 | TheWritingMommy
- The Halls of Childhood | meanderedwanderings
- View from the attic | Standing Ovation, Seated
- Charity Begins At Home | AstridOxford
- breakfast music | peacefulblessedstar
- Our Old House | Flowers and Breezes
- Houses and Home | The Nameless One
- Thoughts of home | FUNNY…PECULIAR
- Childhood Memory… | Cats, Coffee, And Life At Random
- Homeless in your heart? | Emotional Fitness
- The Tracks–Home: Daily Prompt | Finicky Philly
- Moving Away | snapshotsofawanderingheart
- My first house: “mango tree” / Ma première maison: “manguiers” | Write for learning
- It Was Ours | The Book of Shayne
- “Tomorrow you’re going to be four!” | djgarcia94
- Our House: Slugs and Stairs (Daily Post) | Fun with Depression
- Burning Down the House in the Middle of the Street « psychologistmimi
- The House That Built Me | The Shotgun Girls
- Are There Five Interesting Facts About Me?
- I freaking love this house | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
- Our House in the Middle of the Street | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
- Daily Prompt: Our House | Cancer Isn’t Pink
- Early Memories of Home | The Silver Leaf Journal
- Quietness in the Houusse!!! | The Salmon Yatra
- Daily Prompt: Being Reminiscent! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
- Our House | viver para contar
- A Fresh Start | Menimèse Creare
- Daily Prompt: Home | Winging it
- The phone, the farmer, and the Batman. | Trucker Turning Write
- Our home, home on the Office Range | Institute for Hispanic Health Equity
- Life is Home | Live Life in Crescendo
- Our House | YAP + film
- Staying in Focus/Daily Prompt: Our House | Staying in Focus
- Home | A picture is worth 1000 words